Pop Brixton – Why York will love Spark:York

Good Evening guys,

I am gradually more and more prepared to go back to University and I have shed loads of posts to be getting up and scheduled. I’ve been reflecting back on my summer and the holidays I’ve had this year so far. Most recently going down to London for a long weekend with my boyfriend for his 21st/graduation.

When I first booked our trip staying in Brixton I wondered what was there for us to do. One of the first things that came up was Pop Brixton and I saw these images:

It immediately caught my eye and I knew it would be one of the first places that we’d have to wander to when we got there.

What is Pop Brixton?

Well as you can see from the pictures above it is an area made up of old shipping containers. Although it doesn’t sound appealing I personally think it is a gorgeous place to chill out and truly transform an area.

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It is a community start-up which helped to use up a disused area of land and turn it into a space for local businesses to set up for their very first shop. They work with around 55 members which includes restaurants, retailers, digital start-ups and a community barbershop amongst many more.

They work very closely with the local community providing a space for education and each member must complete at least 1-hour of community work each week with local schools and charities. They also have a free event space which is open for any workshops, meetings & fundraisers.

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Another amazing part of Pop Brixton that caught my eye is ‘The People’s Fridge’. Now, homelessness is a huge issue everywhere and many families struggle with money to provide healthy substantial meals to themselves & their children. This fridge is open for the local businesses and people to put in any food that they are not going to use for anyone to take that may need it. I also know that food wastage is a massive issue and having something like this to help solve the problem is truly wonderful.

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The locals and those running the businesses in the market can also make use of the Pop Farm. It’s an urban garden growing herbs, fruit and veg which can then be used and re-planted. It’s such a great way to get people together and lowers any food wastage and is also helping to keep the money and produce local.

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It is a wonderful space for both day and night and during our weekend we spent most of our time here.

On our arrival at the end of July. We wandered to Pop Brixton around lunch time and got ourselves some lovely tacos from Maria Sabina (they were delicious).

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On both the Saturday and the Sunday night we got our dinner from Pop Brixton as well  trying Jerk Chicken from Mama’s Jerk & Pizza from Mama Dough; as it is just so easy and I felt really good spending money within the community.

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This large container opens up on a night and becomes an amazing space for live music and DJ sets. What is great about this space is that it can just keep transforming appealing to all generations.

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Supporting local businesses is such a great thing to be able to do and I love sharing these bits of information with you guys. If we ever go back there I hope to see brand new businesses and try even more delicious food as they are constantly asking for new businesses to take up the units that become available.

It’s currently only a temporary project and plans to remain until Autumn 2018 but for me I think it should stay and with how popular it was when we visited. I can’t see it closing so fingers crossed it becomes a permanent space.

Go and check out more of this incredible space: https://www.popbrixton.orghttps://www.popbrixton.org


Interestingly I’d heard some news in York about a project called Spark:York. Whilst I was in Brixton I did a little bit of research and realised it was along the same lines of Pop Brixton. I immediately had to know more and there is a space in York on Piccadilly that has been empty for quite a while and just looks a little bit sad.

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Now this project has not been straight forward and has and still does face a significant amount of criticism. The locals compare the containers to ‘rusty tins’ and think it will be an eyesore in this historical city. Yes, granted it is a historical city with beautiful sights such as York Minster & The Shambles but we also pride ourselves on our local community spirit. This space is going to be perfect for that.

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In recent years I have seen growth at York’s market with more ‘street food outlets’ becoming extremely popular. With also many independent coffee shops and restaurants opening. Most just around the corner from this new Spark:York site on Fossgate & Walmgate. It is a perfect time for something like this to open.

York is also facing a problem with many retail outlets on our main shopping street becoming empty and staying that way. In this case this is going to help those small businesses that can’t afford to take these spaces just yet, to go into Spark:York and help put their foot in the door and gradually build to that larger space.

It is rumoured that food outlets such as crepes, fried chicken & vegan food will be opening & also a ‘pay as you feel cafe’ with food items being used that would otherwise be sent to waste from supermarkets. Later this month around 20 artists are going to be decorating the containers making it a stunning area and also a space for local artists to show off their talents.

Just like Pop Brixton, 50% of the businesses will be start-ups and there is going to be a community garden with free use of the herbs, fruit & veg. There will also be an area for community workshops & spaces for training and exhibitions.

There is also news that this site is going to feature a microbrewery with a ‘make your own beer’ experience. They are hitting on some major trends with people getting more and more into their local ales & spirits.


The Directors (Tom, Sam & Joe) and also the Project Managers (James & Clare) are very clever people. I fully support this and I am so so happy that this is actually happening because after seeing Pop:Brixton I know it will be successful. All those people doubting project will soon learn that they were wrong.

Another part that I really wanted to mention is how they are making it fully accessible. I have huge respect for businesses that focus on disabled access. I have a sister who is disabled and is in a wheelchair and to know that this is going to be a space she can go to is amazing. The staff are being fully trained to help those with all disabilities. Bec Horner who is working in the communities & partnership section within Spark:York has made the effort to go out to the local organisations who support several disabilities such as York Blind & Partially Sighted, Older Citizens Advocacy & Dementia Action Alliance to get all the information they need.

I have huge respect for this and all of my support and excitement is rushing towards this project. I can not wait to see it open this Autumn and no doubt you will be seeing me there when I come from University as much as possible.

Please go and show your support on their Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sparkyork/

Twitter: @Spark_York 

Instagram: @sparkyork 

Oh and tell them I sent you (@bookitblogger)! 


I really hope you enjoyed this post as I really throughly enjoyed writing it.

Let me know what you think in the comments below if you think these projects are a good idea?

If you aren’t already please follow my blog and become a part of The Book it List, you’ll be notified when I post & you’ll help grow this little community of mine even bigger.

Check out my previous post – Dating a Photographer

Thank you so much for reading,

Rhianna

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2 thoughts on “Pop Brixton – Why York will love Spark:York

  1. Hi Rhiannon, thanks so much for the article, it’s a great representation of our project. Also worth noting is that we are reinvesting all of our profits into activities for the city’s less fortunate.all the activities will be on a pay-as-you-feel basis, making art, performance, kids shows etc affordable and accessible to everyone!
    Look forward to seeing you here when we open, and if you have any more questions, drop me a line – joe.gardham@sparkyork.com
    Thanks, Joe (Spark:York)

    Liked by 1 person

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